According to a profile of Middleman in the Johns Hopkins Magazine, the MICA art professor has painted more than 1,000 self-portraits over the course of his multi-decade career. Middleman, who was born in Baltimore, later earned a BA in philosophy from Johns Hopkins. Philosophy’s encouragement of self-examination may have contributed to his penchant for self-portraiture; it also helps that he can paint himself quickly, without having to enlist a model to pose for him.
And the subject never gets old: “Each time I do a self-portrait, it comes out different,” he told the magazine. “Out of accident and intentionality combined, you get an image that awakens you to a sense of being alive in the present tense. Each is an attempt to find out who I am. It’s an infinite process of discovery. I’m constantly learning from this.”
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